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Martinez Historic Home Tour Oct. 10

Sep 27, 2015 01:12PM ● By Jennifer Neys

How would you like to visit a house where Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe once stayed? Or walk through the guest room where they spent the night? You can do this on the 2015 Home Tour in Martinez, Saturday, October 10 from 10am to 4pm. Eight private homeowners open up their beautiful vintage homes to the public, courtesy of the Martinez Historical Society. 

Joe DiMaggio’s uncle and aunt Pete and Mary Amato previously owned one of the homes, a Spanish Revival constructed in 1937. Other homes were built in a variety of historic home styles, such as Arts & Crafts, Craftsman, and Cape Cod Revival. Construction dates range from 1912 to 1941.

“Some of the homes have beautiful interior woodwork,” said Carolyn Duncan, chair of the Home Tour Committee, “especially the Craftsman homes.” Other details include vintage light fixtures, gorgeous wallpaper, antique appliances, and romantic stairways. “These homes were built in an era when homeowners did not stint on quality,” said Marlene Haws, who helped select houses on the tour. 

One of the Craftsman homes has a secret room. John Curtis, president of the Martinez Historical Society says docents will show visitors how a built-in bookcase swings open to allow passage into the hidden room. This house was on a previous tour, but a whimsical feature has been added. 

Six public buildings are also included, including the 1937 Shell Clubhouse, with an intact Craftsman Era interior (where restrooms and parking is plentiful).  Next-door is the Shell Refinery Museum. Both buildings are located at 1635 Pacheco Boulevard.  The tour includes the 1927 Veterans Memorial Building, the1890 Borland House (Martinez Museum), and John Muir’s 1882 Italianate Victorian mansion, with the adjacent 1849 Martinez Adobe. 

An added feature of the home tour is the opportunity to meet homeowners who can answer questions and discuss renovating and furnishing their older homes. The tour includes antique automobiles parked in front of the homes, the Joltin’ Joe (Joe DiMaggio’s pleasure boat), live music, demonstrations and refreshments.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  Tickets can be purchased by credit card at or with cash or by check at Char’s Flowers (635 Main Street), Rumain’s Jewelry (510 Center Avenue), Bagel Street Café (580 Center Avenue), The UPS Store (Lucky Shopping Center) and I’ve Been Framed (411 Ferry Street). 

The following sponsors make this tour possible:

Shell Martinez Refinery, Cole Real Estate, Shell Chemical Company, Republic Services, Shell Western States Federal Credit Union, Hagin’s Automotive, Bisio / Dunivan, State Farm Insurance, Matthew Rinn, AgentLes Schwab Tire Center, Martinez, EcoMulch, Community Focus, City of Martinez, U.S. Bank and Leading Edge Pest Management.